In the very short Letter #26, John acknowledges the receipt of a letter from home. He also discusses the drafting of a neighbor...John Beaver. Beaver, a neighbor, was drafted in 1862 and John discusses his sorrow that a man with "a houseful of small children" would be drafted. Knowing the horrors of war and having seen friends and comrades wounded and killed, he is sad to think that a father of many children may never come home.
John frets of not being able to come home to convalesce and resigns himself to the fact that he will have to stay in the army for his full three year commitment. With his recent wounding, he is doubting his own survival in that terrible war.
Georgetown College Hospital
October 29, 1862
My Dear Father,
I take my pen in hand to inform you this few lines to let you know that I am well at present time and I hope that this few lines will find you in the same state of good health. Further I let you know that I received your letter on October the 26 of the month. Further I let you know that I am very sorry that John Beaver got drafted and has to go to war because he has a houseful of small children at home. I would sooner go twice in his place then to see him to go and leave his family at home. But it can’t be helped none. And I was very glad to hear from home and to hear that you are all well and I hope that you all may stay well. Further I let you know that my wound begins to heal very nice. I am able to walk around all the time but I can’t see no chance yet to come home. I think I must make up my three years if I live so long. So I will close my letter for this time. Answer soon again this few lines. From your dear son.
John W. Derr
Direct yours as before.